1939, UCLA vs Santa Clara

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UCLA Bruins left halfback DALE GILMORE (# 25), the senior co-captain who had made the critical fourth quarter interception and then caught the decisive touchdown pass that had defeated the Washington Huskies six weeks earlier, is chased by Santa Clara Broncos senior quarterback RAY MCCARTHY (# 44) during the NCAA regional non-conference match-up at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
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November 18, 1939
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Attendance: 50,000

(# 11 – AP) UCLA BRUINS vs (# 14 – AP) SANTA CLARA BRONCOS

UCLA starting line-up
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LE – # 27 … Woody STRODE …………… LH – # 13 … Kenny WASHINGTON
LT – # 15 … Del LYMAN ………………….. FB – # 5 ….. Bill OVERLIN
LG – # 11 … Jack SOMMERS ……………. QB – # 55 … Ned MATTHEWS
OC – # 6 ….. Martin MATHESON ……… RH – # 25 … Dale GILMORE
RG – # 12 … John FRAWLEY
RT – # 24 … Mladen ZARUBICA
RE – # 38 … Don MACPHERSON

substitutions
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E – Jim MITCHELL (# 41), Bob SIMPSON (# 44)
T – Ernest HILL (# 10), Jack COHEN (# 14)
C – Milt WHITEBROOK (# 52)
FB – Leo CANTOR (# 2)
RH – Chuck FENENBOCK (# 45), Ray BARTLETT (# 9)

According to the detailed post-game report that appeared in the Berkeley Daily Gazette (Monday, November 20, 1939), Santa Clara Broncos veteran head coach BUCK SHAW sent on twice as many substitutes (16-8) as did BABE HORRELL, his rookie counterpart for the UCLA Bruins (8), who were still minus the services of injured right halfback JACKIE ROBINSON.

UCLA star left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON played the entire 60-minute game against Santa Clara, it shall be highlighted.

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UCLA BRUINS 0 – SANTA CLARA BRONCOS 0

Game Statistics
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plays from scrimmage (incl. punts) ……. UCLA 69, SC 64
net total yardage ………………………………. UCLA 206, SC 201
first downs ……………………………………….. UCLA 12, SC 11
net rushing yards ……………………………… UCLA 138, SC 142
net passing yards ……………………………… UCLA 68, SC 59
passes completed / attempted …………… UCLA 4/7, SC 3/8
passes intercepted by ……………………….. UCLA 1, SC 4
fumbles recovered by ……………………….. UCLA 1, SC 0
missed field goal attempts …………………. UCLA 1, SC 1
punts – punting average ……………………. UCLA 7 – 36.9, SC 8 – 35.9
punt returns – yards gained ……………….. UCLA 4-46, SC 2-28
kickoff returns – yards gained ……………. UCLA 1-14, SC 1-18
penalty yardage lost …………………………… UCLA 50, SC 25

scoring plays
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none

UCLA individual net rushing statistics
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FB – Leo CANTOR …………………… 14 carries …. 64 yards
LH – Kenny WASHINGTON ……. 21 carries ….. 63 yards
FB – Bill OVERLIN ……………………. 4 carries ….. 19 yards
RH – Dale GILMORE …………………. 2 carries ……. 0 yards
RH – Chuck FENENBOCK …………. 4 carries …. – 8 yards

(game statistics as reported by Berkeley Daily Gazette on November 20, 1939)

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“(UCLA left halfback Kenny) Washington was not only a standout in running and passing but his defensive work was big league in every way. He made some of the sharpest tackles of the day and his speed that enabled him to overcome Anahu, after Bill had caught Clark’s pass in the clear, denied Santa Clara a touchdown.” … Buddy Leitch – San Jose Evening News on Monday, November 20, 1939.

It is interesting to note that Santa Clara deployed three different left halfbacks (Jim Johnson, Dick Clark & Ken Casanega) who combined to carry the football from scrimmage versus the UCLA defense 18 times for a net gain of 65 yards.

On 18 of Washington’s carries against Santa Clara, the Bruins’ All-America candidate gained a net total of 81 yards. But the UCLA star was also tackled behind the line of scrimmage while attempting to pass by the Broncos three times for a net total loss of 18 yards, as well. Still to this very day, yardage lost on “sacks” is counted as part of any college football quarterback’s rushing total — this is in direct contrast to how things are done at the professional level in the National Football League.

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UCLA BRUINS vs SANTA CLARA BRONCOS
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“U.C.L.A., in the running for Rose Bowl selection, and Santa Clara University, so-called ‘king’ of the (west) coast independents, battled to a bitterly-fought 0-0 tie,” wrote United Press Staff Correspondent RONALD W. WAGONER in his nationally-syndicated post-game report.

Despite the lack of points on this day, it certainly was not as if either the Broncos or Bruins had failed to move the football over the course of the sixty minutes played. Indeed, Santa Clara and UCLA had combined to generate more than 400 yards of total offense while making numerous forays into legitimate scoring territory. Fittingly, well after the referee’s final gun went off a ball carrier even continued to run along in the open field for quite some time until finally being brought down to formally conclude the event-filled contest.

It was the visitors who had the most promising opportunity to snap the scoreless deadlock in the first half after Santa Clara sophomore guard RUPE THORNTON intercepted a UCLA lateral pass in midfield with only 40 seconds remaining. On the very next play, the Broncos’ All-America hopeful at right end, BILL ANAHU, caught a pass from second team left halfback DICK CLARK in open space and might have had a receiving touchdown for the third consecutive weekend in a row to his credit were it not for the last-ditch tackle made by Bruins safety KENNY WASHINGTON at the UCLA 9-yard line. Much to the delight of the home crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, however, three straight rushing plays gained just four yards and, on fourth down, another Broncos toss fell harmlessly incomplete.

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ucla-39-santa-clara-newspaperSanta Clara Broncos left halfback JIM JOHNSON (# 9), who carried the ball from scrimmage just three times for 16 yards during the scoreless duel of nationally-ranked teams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, is knocked off his feet by the UCLA Bruins defense.

Santa Clara’s leading rusher in the compelling tussle with UCLA was first team fullback JACK ROCHE, the relentless senior who carved out 36 net yards after lugging the pigskin on 14 occasions (2.57 average yards per attempt).
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Santa Clara, who had come into the contest ranked three places lower than UCLA in the weekly national college football poll put out by the Associated Press, also had another great chance to score in the third quarter. JOHNNY SCHIECHL, the Broncos’ All-America candidate widely hailed as the best center on the entire left coast, halted a Bruins drive by making his second interception of the day at the Santa Clara 27-yard line. A sizable return of 32 yards by Schiechl quickly set the visitors up in good position on the opponents’ side of the field, as well.

Starting from the UCLA 41-yard line and spurred on by the “fancy” running and passing of third-string left halfback KEN CASANEGA, the talented sophomore who carried the ball nine times for 29 yards on the day, the Broncos worked the ball down to the Bruins 9-yard line. At this point, however, the UCLA defense stiffened as three consecutive rushing plays from the Broncos failed even a single yard. Faced with a fourth & goal from the UCLA 10-yard line, Santa Clara went into field goal formation with the right end Anahu set to swing his foot.

Santa Clara’s best placekicker, left halfback JIM JOHNSON, had already aggravated a lingering ankle injury from the Michigan State Spartans game the week before and had gone to the bench for good early in the second quarter. Anahu, meanwhile, had successfully converted two extra points during the Broncos’ big 27-7 win over Stanford University but had also hit the crossbar with a third attempt two weeks earlier. Kicking from the opponents’ 18-yard line, “Hawaiian Bill” promptly let UCLA off the hook when his field goal attempt fell short in the end zone.

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(Associated Press photo – Prescott Evening Courier, November 20, 1939) … UCLA Bruins left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON (who is most easily recognized via the helmet at the far left) is stopped by Santa Clara all-league linebacker JOHNNY SCHIECHL with the assistance of Broncos right end BILL AHAHU (# 35) as visiting tackle NICK STUBLER watches during the non-conference clash of the two California schools at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the other UCLA player most easily visible in the old photo presented here is right guard JOHN FRAWLEY (# 12), the Bruins’ senior co-captain.
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UCLA, who moved the ball against Santa Clara well enough but consistently shot themselves in the foot by throwing four interceptions, finally mounted its most serious threat by putting a 73-yard drive together with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter. “Huge hunks” of yardage were clipped of by runs from the Bruins left halfback Washington and substitute fullback LEO CANTOR, the promising sophomore who enjoyed his best effort in the UCLA varsity uniform to date (64 yards, 4.6 average per carry). A five-yard burst up the middle from Cantor set the football on the Broncos 5-yard line but the undisciplined Bruins were subsequently penalized 15 yards for holding.

And so, with the final seconds dwindling, UCLA went into field goal formation from the Santa Clara 20-yard line. Now, a 35-yard attempt was a considerable task for even the best of placekickers during the pre-World War II era of Single Wing Football. But, on the other hand, Bruins right guard JACK SOMMERS had already boomed a 40-yard field goal during UCLA’s 16-6 win over the Oregon Ducks (which had been the Bruins first three-pointer since 1936) at the end of October and so it was decided to give the junior from Norristown, Pennsylvania, another shot at it.

Sommers’ line-drive kick was low and wide but the pigskin was retrieved in the end zone by Santa Clara substitute right halfback FRANK PETERSON, who immediately started running the ball back towards the UCLA goal line. Peterson found plenty of room to roam and actually reached midfield before being dragged down at midfield. “It was a typical movie finish and Hollywood’s studios would have thought long and hard to figure out a better ‘suspense-getter’,” remarked Wagoner in his United Press report.

Attendance according to newspaper references
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70,000 …… San Jose Evening News ……… 11/18/39
60,000 …… San Jose Evening News ……… 11/20/39
50,000 …… Eugene Register-Guard ……… 11/19/39
50,000 …… The Sunday Morning Star ….. 11/19/39
none ……….. Pittsburgh Press ……………….. 11/19/39
none ……….. Berkeley Daily Gazette ………. 11/20/39

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